4 out of 5 stars
Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse is the third novel in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. It was originally published in 2007 and centres around the fourteen-year-old titular character and his adventures as a Greek demigod in North America.
This book was good – it wasn’t perfect – but it was still pretty damn good.
Firstly, I went straight into this book with memories of the last two still in my head despite having not read them for almost three years. But it was all just how I remembered it and was a great way to get me back into Rick Riordan’s writing.
I liked the style and flow of the words and Percy as a narrator is interesting to read. Though there were times when he was just a tad too dense, it was fun to watch him try to figure something out and get called out for being slow on the uptake. Taking into consideration that the character is only fourteen years old and fighting a whole array of monsters that even older men would run away screaming from, Percy is a very diverse character. Everything is told like you are listening to a boy his age but with enough detail that you can imagine the monsters, locations and his companions easily. He is a genuinely bright character and it is easy to care for him and his friends especially when he is willing to sacrifice everything to save his friends.
Usually a character that I enjoy reading about, Annabeth (for the short time she was actually in the story) annoyed me. She didn’t seem like the same character I could remember – she seemed almost whiney and petulant when it came to Luke, and I had to side with Percy when it came to him. How many times does the guy need to almost kill them for her to realise that he’s bad news? When she disappears during the beginning of the novel I was worried, I thought I had managed to find another author willing to kill off characters that I cared about to make a story. In a way it may have been more interesting to see where the rest of the storyline would have gone if Riordan had killed Annabeth, but on the whole finding her and learning the truth of her prison was for the best.
However, I did enjoy the new character Thalia, the daughter of Zeus who was technically introduced into the narrative at the end of Sea of Monsters. It was cool to see a tough girl who was tough and weak at the same time. She wasn’t a stereotype either – as much as her description would have dictated that she would be what with her punk clothing and bad attitude, she was a very determined and amazing female character. It is rare to see decent female characters – and in recent years, much to my surprise, a lot of the best female characters have been written by men. Thalia is a prime example of this – she is strong, brave, intelligent and just as willing to sacrifice herself for those she cares about as Percy. Watching their characters develop together and form a friendship from a very obvious rivalry was a nice touch.
I did feel that the attitudes of the Hunters of Artemis were a little childish – given that they were all aged between eight and sixteen it was no wonder, but their attitude towards men was a little weird. However, they too had a wonderful development – especially Zoe Nightshade. She was another amazingly written female character – she was harsh, tough and distrustful of Percy because he was a man, but then she grew in character and accepted that he was nothing like another hero she’d known and got peace after the worst happened.
From that character comes the puzzle that was shown throughout the novel – Annabeth’s prison. I figured it out pretty quickly because, as a mythology geek, I know a bit about the Greek myths. That and I remembered the connection from Bioshock… She held the sky on her back with a crushing weight that was slowly killing her. It was subtly done and when the character whom she’d replaced was finally revealed I felt a lovely feeling of accomplishment having figured it out correctly.
All that characters are flawed, but that’s what makes the book interesting to read. I don’t want a story about perfect people doing perfect things – I want a story about flawed people learning from the mistakes they make. And this book delivered that. Even the gods were written amazingly, they were so funny sometimes (like Aphrodite basically turning into your average fangirl).
I recommend this to people who love fantasy, random takes on mythology and cow serpants. Don’t forget the cow serpants.